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I need to provide a set of top level controls for a Remote Desktop Application and my concern is where should these control be placed on the screen.

Controls are:

  1. Chat Icon
  2. Keyboard options (if other OS)
  3. Notes
  4. And other settings like display

Examples seen of controls and there positions:

Top: Most application specific controls (life firefox) are at the top of the application.

Bottom: Many OS specific controls are found on the bottom of the screen. Example would include the Start bar and status bar on Windows. Mac also has it default application dock at the bottom of the screen.

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You'll probably get more useful answers if you can increase your answer acceptance rate. It's currently only 25% so may deter people from answering this and other questions of yours. –  JonW Jun 21 '12 at 13:47
    
@JonW: Part of the low acceptance rate is that almost 50% of the questions are closed. –  dnbrv Jun 24 '12 at 6:44
    
@dnbrv closed questions don't count towards the acceptance rate. –  JonW Jun 24 '12 at 8:02
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2 Answers

Based on what you describing I believe your core issue will be how to best design your controls so they appear to be part of your remote desktop application and not part of the remoted clients. While positioning the functionality can be important, the overall design of your functionality must signify what each button will do and which machine it will affect before the user clicks it.

Once the design of your can show this distinct difference, placement can imitate existing applications if necessary. For example Windows Remote Desktop by default places the toolbar at the top center of the remote desktop window. If your planned user base for your product is already accustom to this, replicating your functionality in this location will be more intuitive than it would be to place the toolbar elsewhere.

Based on the limited information you have provided its hard to fully answer your question. Please provide additional details and screenshots/wireframes for more specific assistance.

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By all means look at similar applications for an idea of accepted patterns. However you need to consider and communicate:

  • The purpose of your application. (Your question does not make this clear)
  • The user's journey and context when encountering the buttons?
  • What the user is trying to achieve and which is their priority?
  • What else appears on screen?
  • What happens when you click on these buttons?

With this information you should have a better idea and this question can be more constructively answered.

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